Posted at 5:00 p.m.
“Friendships are often relationships that help us become better people,” says Camille Toffoli. For the author of the feminist essay winner of a Booksellers’ Prize corsair girlsthe more people you coexist with, the more you get to know yourself.
“When we are in deep interaction, in sharing, in exposing our vulnerabilities with different people, it allows us to understand the complexity of the person we are and to undo our reflexes. […] We have a better awareness of our own pitfalls, our own blind spots,” she explains.
However, despite what they can bring, friendships are relegated to the background in the lives of many people. The couple (then the family) and work take turns eating away at the time we devoted, as a child, to friendship. Camille Toffoli notes that this change often occurs during adolescence, hence her desire to address the subject in Engage in friendshipan essay that is part of the new Ecosociety collection Radardesigned for 15 to 19 year olds, but which will certainly reach a wider audience.
Through her personal experience, but also thanks to the testimonies of roommates, roller-derby enthusiasts and other groups of friends, Camille Toffoli defends the idea that society would benefit from giving more importance to friendships.
Our system is based on the primacy of the couple and the family. It is a model that serves the economy. People are told that the best way to live is as a couple, as a family, to have your own small space, your small things, your small expenses. We are really conditioned to that.
Living in shared accommodation with friends is not presented as an ideal to be achieved, she gives an example in the book. However, this way of life has its advantages.
“It can be a way of fighting against the economic precariousness in which we are immersed at the moment. […] In Montreal, it’s so expensive. Even in your thirties, it’s hard to afford rent. How do we tackle this problem? Perhaps seeing things in a slightly less individualistic way, basing our future on sharing resources and energies, could be a way of living better,” she reflects.
Make way for sorority…
In her essay, Camille Toffoli talks a lot about the benefits of friendship, but she also highlights some darker sides, especially about relationships between girls. How many films and TV series depict situations in which friends are jealous of each other or fall into gossip, she raises in her book.
It’s been proven that when people feel marginalized or stigmatized, there’s a survival mechanism where people will point fingers because they feel like there’s no room for everyone.
” […] Girls feel like they have to be the cutest, the prettiest, the most desirable [pour] seek the approval of the guys,” says Camille Toffoli.
The author would like the sorority to replace this rivalry. How to achieve it? “The greatest strength we can have is finding ourselves beautiful, interesting and marvelous among girls too,” she replies.
… and deep friendships
The boys also encounter certain obstacles in their friendships. ” [Ils] have on average more difficulty than girls in maintaining and deepening friendships,” writes Camille Toffoli in her essay. For what ? “I think generally in our sexist upbringing, guys are less conditioned to show their vulnerability. There is still a dichotomy. Girls are socialized to develop youthful relationship skills through role play. […] Boys are less conditioned to develop the qualities that make a good friend. Being sensitive, vulnerable, listening, these are still things that allow you to forge close ties with someone, ”replies the author.
She also invites teenagers to dare to ask their friends questions in order to deepen their relationships. “It sounds very ba-ba, but that’s often how we ‘fall’ in friendship, to use the syntax of ‘falling in love’. What do we do when we go on a date to make it work? We will ask the person questions. There is also that in friendship. This is how, mutually, we reveal ourselves. »
Radartrials for young people
To highlight its 30e anniversary, the Écosociété publishing house has launched Radar, a new collection of essays aimed at 15 to 19 year olds. In addition to Engage in friendship, GAFAM, the five-headed monster appeared this month. In this book, teacher Philippe Gendreau invites young people to reflect on the impact that web giants have on society. How do they collect users’ personal data? What do they do with these? Why is this of concern? An instructive essay for teenagers… and their parents.
Engage in friendship
From 15 years old